When Your Body Attacks Your Teeth: Combating Autoimmune Dental Problems

3 Ways Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Keep Your Mouth Healthy

If you are considering a cosmetic dentistry procedure such as dental implant surgery, you will need to ensure that your gums and the bones that support your natural teeth are healthy. As women approach menopause, their estrogen levels, and most notably, estrogen, can dramatically drop, which can have a negative impact on their teeth and gums.

If your gingival tissue and dental status are poor, you might have complications with your implants such as infection and loosening. Not only can an estrogen deficiency lead to dental problems, it can also cause hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. If you find that these symptoms are intolerable, or if your dental status has declined, your doctor can prescribe hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Here are three ways estrogen can keep your mouth healthy for your new dental implants:

Maintains Healthy Gum Tissue

Estrogen helps keep your gum tissue healthy and strong. Menopausal women sometimes notice their their gums are spongy, inflamed, and bleed frequently. Taking hormone replacement therapy during menopause can help reverse this type of gum pathology, and while it may take time for you to see an improvement, your gum condition will improve over time.

Menopause can also lead to an uncommon condition of the gums which causes the top layer of tissue to slough off. While the sloughing typically occurs only when brushing or flossing, it can happen for no reason. If you experience problems with your gums during your menopausal years, see both your dentist and physician for further evaluation and treatment.

Helps Promote Salivary Flow

Low estrogen levels can also have a negative effective on your salivary glands. Menopausal women often complain of a dry mouth, and while this can simply be the result of the normal aging process or medications, it can be related to hormonal fluctuations. Estrogen replacement therapy can help restore optimal salivary flow so that your mouth remains healthy. 

When you consistently have a dry mouth, you are at risk for developing a severe type of gum disease that is known as periodontitis. If you have diminished salivary flow, your dental professional can prescribe a lubricating mouthwash to help wash away oral bacteria so that your gums stay healthy.  

Maintains Bone Integrity

Menopause and subsequent low estrogen can lead to a decrease in bone density, including the bones in your mouth and those of your jaw. While calcium and vitamin D supplements can help maintain bone density, they may not be enough.

Hormone replacement therapy can help stave off bone thinning, which will help keep your dental implants anchored securely. While estrogen will help keep your dental bones strong, it may not reverse existing bone destruction, however, it may help slow its progression. If you have jaw or dental pain, you might have decreased bone density as a result of low estrogen. See your physician who may recommend a blood test which will detect abnormal hormone levels.

If you have low estrogen and are considering dental implant surgery, talk to your physician about hormone replace therapy to determine if it is safe for you. When you work with both your cosmetic dentist and physician to resolve your oral problems, you will better enjoy the results of your dental implants.